Denver Broncos Look to Improve Defense in 2009

Ben SaxtonContributor IJanuary 6, 2009

Well the Broncos legendary 2008 collapse could be seen as a curse and most people do see it that way. However, it could be seen as a blessing in disguise.

As most Bronco Maniacs the most gaping hole can be found in the defense. After a dismal performance in week 17 the owner Pat Bowlen fired coach Mike Shanahan. The defense was most likely a major part of this, since it was almost the only thing holding the Broncos back from an astounding season.

The Broncos unexplainable losses have in a way helped.


The losses pushed Denver farther down the draft board; with a lower pick the Broncos should be able to reach out to the mass of young defensive talent entering the draft.

With the Broncos at a projected No. 12 pick, their main looks should be on defensive tackle B.J. Rajii of the Boston College Eagles, as well as the highly touted (and Butkis Award-winning) linebacker James Laurinaitus from the Ohio State Buckeyes. This would help fill many of the gaps on Denver’s lacking defensive front and weak linebacking corps.

But with Shanahan gone and many defensive coordinators being looked at as possible head coaches, Denver's draft approach should change. If a smart defensive coach were to look ahead to further rounds, it can be seen that a surplus of linebackers are available, that is why with their first round pick the Broncos  likely will look to beef up their line with Rajii.

But the defense is clearly in more need—the Broncos should look to free agency and the draft for a free safety, such as Ken Hamline or a defensive end such as Julius Peppers. Whatever happens to the beloved Broncos, their main focus should be on defense this off-season, so that the Orange and Blue can attain a long playoff run.